Is the "pick up artist" movement an inherently good or bad thing?

I recently spent some time looking over the blog of “Roissy” after seeing a link to it in another thread. For those who don’t know who this is, he’s apparently a very accomplished pickup artist and icon of the “seduction community,” with a very misanthropic tone and a bad-boy attitude. There’s no shortage of criticism of his views by females on the internet, but also, apparently, no shortage of real-life women willing to sleep with him, so I doubt that the former bothers him too much. (Actually, the ability to take criticism is one of the virtues he advocates.)

It’s really only in the last 5 years or so that I’ve noticed this growing movement among men of learning how to “game” and become “alpha.” Previously, I don’t think anything like this existed. I’m sure there were individual men who were developing systems that worked for them to sleep with large numbers of women, but I don’t think there was any kind of organized group of men working together, trying to help each other improve their skills, publishing books about it, etc.

The cornerstone of Roissy’s approach seems to be the idea of being an “alpha” male. One of the other pickup artist technique I’ve read about is the “Mystery” method, which seems to be more based upon attracting attention to oneself through weird clothes. While this probably appeals more to men with a sense of the theatrical and dramatic, the idea of being “alpha” probably resonates far more with the average male.

Whatever the method, it seems to me that the pickup artist movement produces results for men, and is gaining ground rapidly.

It’s a fact of life that certain kinds of men attract far, far more female sexual partners than others. In the society we live in, the kind of men who seem to do this most are celebrities, athletes, rock stars, and super-rich businessmen. To me, the whole pickup-artist movement represents men analyzing what it is about these type of men that gets women so willing to offer themselves up sexually, what it is about women that makes them so attracted to these abstract things like status and money, and then try to use that knowledge to apply it to their own lives without actually being rock stars, athletes or millionaires.

Do you think this is ultimately a good or bad thing? Many view the whole thing as being misogynist, sexist, cold-hearted, evil, etc. On the other hand, it replaces the old-fashioned model of the star quarterback and burly brute with a new kind of alpha male who uses his intellect to make himself alpha by understanding psychology.

I would say it is a good or bad thing depending, at least in part, on how the women seduced find themselves feeling about it afterwards.

What “movement”? Casanova lived a long time ago. Stories about Don Juan have been told for ages. In this area of human relationships, there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s just wrapped in new packaging.

I dunno. I just looked at Roissy’s “16 Commandments of Poon” out of curiosity and they read pretty much the same as the crap you get in Maxim.

[QUOTE=Argent Towers;13515728. There’s no shortage of criticism of his views by females on the internet, but also,** apparently, no shortage of real-life women willing to sleep with him**, so I doubt that the former bothers him too much. (Actually, the ability to take criticism is one of the virtues he advocates.)[/QUOTE]

Yes, according to him. Someone trying to position themselves as a player would claim such a thing, and I’m not seeing much proof.

It’s certainly nothing new for men’s magazines to give you “15 Ways To Get The Hottest Girl” or women’s garbagebagmags to offer “152 Ways to Get the Guy”. The real anwser being: don’t be the kind of douchebag who uses tips from Maxim/Cosmo in your sex life.

Having read a little bit of that stuff myself, I’d say it’s wholly a bad thing, and here’s why.

It doesn’t really foster anything beyond getting laid, and promotes a whole bunch of methods that are actively damaging to other people, deceptive and selfish.

I know that people are frequently that way, but going about it in a structured and somewhat scientific way seems monstrous to me.

It’s a movement now because there is an organized force of men who are preaching this gospel to other men. Some of them are doing it for profit, of course, others seem to be doing it out of a labor of love. That’s the whole point I was trying to make…this is not a bunch of isolated guys living lives as lotharios in a vaccuum, it’s a whole community of men sharing tips and communicating online.

Are you claiming that guys like Roissy do not get laid in real life by a lot of different girls?

I think he’s claiming that lots of different girls aren’t bitching about him on the internet.

Why would “players” who had some sort of winning “technique” want others to use it? If the “technique” becomes generally known, would this not decrease its usefulness? :smiley:

It’s a scam. There are certain men who have a certain…something. It is a bad boy swagger that many women like a lot. Other men think they can cop this same swagger by following directions. Problem is, this kind of swagger can’t be taught. It is an…essence that some men just possess. They can’t teach it. The ones who claim they can are scamming gullible men.

IME, the surest way to get women to want to sleep with you is to be happily married.

I think it can be effective for guys who have struggled with “nice guy” syndrome. It can help guys realize that women are not some kind of unapproachable otherworldly creatures. They learn to play the numbers game, ask for what they want, and enjoy what they have without psyching themselves out. The misogynist talk does bother me, but if that is what you need to get through the day, I’m not going to worry too much about it.

But I also see a sort of post-pick-up-artist syndrome among my guy friends. Eventually, most guys get bored with the flavor of the month and start looking for something deeper than random casual encounters. Unfortunately, when you are used to looking at sex as a sort of adversarial contest, it can be difficult to get out of that mode. I see two major problems:

  1. Men get so caught up in the “sex as status”/“sex as a adversarial conquest” that they fixate on the difficult conquest rather than the nice girls who like them. They feel like only a woman slightly out of their league will satisfy their quest for status. While they may be able to land one now and then for NSA sex, it’s a lot harder to get one in a relationship. This creates a feedback loop, where they get depressed because they were once sexual superstars, but now can’t land a girl to get serious with. They start doubting themselves, which makes them less attractive as steady partners and it ends up badly. I know a few guys who are caught up in this, and they aren’t going to be happy until they realize that if they want to find love they are probably going to have to bump back their status expectations.

  2. Once actually in a relationship, they have trouble transitioning into partners. The whole "give a little insult as a compliment’ thing is intriguing in a stranger, but gets old quickly when you are in a relationship. My current boyfriend is an ex-pick-up-artist, and it’s troubling. At first I’d just roll my eyes and chuckle when he did something that was clearly out of some manual, but it’s getting really old… I know he’s a decent guy underneath, but he doesn’t know how to get out of these patterns and be a real partner. It’s looking like it’s probably not going to work between us, and he’s going to be left wondering one day why he can’t find someone to settle down with.

In short, if you want to have real relationships at some point in your life, you need to have an exit plan. I think guys should realize the pick up artist stuff can be a lot of fun for some periods of your life, but if you want to grow as a person you have to know how to put it away when it’s time. It’s like those guys who go to teach English in Asia and have sex with prostitutes. When a 20 year old does it, it’s all fun and adventure and the good life. When you stay there for forty years and are still doing the same thing as an old man, it’s kind of pathetic. Enjoy the good life, but get out before you lose your ability to do anything else.

I don’t think those are symptoms of the pick-up artist movement, though. Speaking as a guy who spent quite a lot of time semi-obsessed with sexual conquest (damn near 10 years), and who played the game more successfully than most, it was more of a personal thing. I couldn’t get laid in high school, but when I got to college I could… so I made up for lost time.

And there truly is an xkcd for everything.

As for my own views, the thought of manipulating oneself into another’s pants is pretty skeevy. It has an air of having to overcome the woman’s resistance in order to fulfil one’s own desires, to get her to have sex with you despite what she herself might want (otherwise, if she already wanted to sleep with you, you’d hardly have to resort to playing any sort of game or using any kind of method).

That said, there are probably some women that want to be won, in some way or another – and in that case, I’m happy to let the gamers claim their trophies; this kind of competitiveness takes everything I find desirable out of intimacy. To me, sex is much more enjoyable if it is arrived at mutually, through a delicate (and in itself quite enjoyable!) process known as building a relationship. Don’t mistake me, the other kind is nice, too, but I find that I can usually take care of much the same needs by myself, and then I don’t even have to fancy dress.

If you don’t, you’re missing out. :wink:

I’ve never understood this – as close as I can get, speaking as a man who, after a long, long relationship that lasted pretty much through my mid to late twenties and took me a few years to get over, it’s a matter of men trying to imitate other successful men, who are successful in multiple arenas of play.

As stupid and drunk and drugged and eksetera as Charlie Sheen is, he had one thing right, which is that it may be cured with the mind. Or something. The men who buy this stuff are probably the sort who need a recipe to make dinner or lunch. That said, I’d like to subscribe to their newsletter, or just talk to and with their women.

ETA I think it’s a bad thing – learning how to socialize isn’t, at its highest and most perfect achievement, about “scoring points,” or “getting” some woman. It probably works for a kind of man-starved woman, and if you’re a sex-starved man, then go ahead. But if you’ve had plenty, I hope you’d realize that your time is better spent being a better person and jacking off if you need to.

I truly don’t know. Usually, I like knowledge.

But i guess this is one of those things like being professionally media trained. It used to be siad that some public figures just “came across well” and that that was an unique talent, not easily copied. but then it was analyzed and worked into teachable tools and rules, aka media training. And yes, media training works for the individual, so it becomes a profession. Being a profession, it creates a need, and then there comes a tipping point where you can’t succeed beyond a certain level if you haven’t had that training.
And then there comes the point that everybody gets sick of the same media-trained tricks and starts clamouring for authenticity. And then…but that’s about where we are now, so I don’t know how it goes from there. :slight_smile:

Why do you think it can’t be taught? Anything under the sun can be taught.

Guys go into Marine Corps boot camp totally green, and they come out as Marines with the best morale and motivation in the world. That’s a hell of a lot harder than being a pick-up artist, and that can be taught.

I don’t believe there’s anything in the world that can’t be taught to a person.

The mating dance is cold harsh jungle rules in action. In a world where a man can be rejected for no other bullshit reason other than his monetary status or his HEIGHT, I have zero reason to judge pick-up artists who know how to do the job right.

Life ain’t ideal. A man’s life is all about angling for an advantage - especially when it comes to women. The road of life is littered with squirrels who forget that.

Also not all PUA’s just use pickup skills to “nail some booty” - I hired one as a salesman and from his perspective you can use PUA techniques to find a relationship, too. He parlayed his PUA skills to sell policies (and has been our star salesman for many moons now). The PUA is not inherently bad or good - it depends on how you use it.